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Lawsuits Allege Abuse In Mormon Foster Program

New lawsuits allege the Mormon church did not do enough to protect children from sexual abuse in a now-defunct, church-run foster program. The Native American women behind the lawsuits participated in the Indian Placement Program.

The lawsuits were filed earlier this month on behalf of two Navajo women in tribal court and in Washington state on behalf of a Crow woman.

These are among a string of lawsuits in recent years that seek monetary damages, apologies and a guarantee that church leaders will report suspected abuse.

A spokesman for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did not immediately return a message. The church has said it works to prevent abuse.

An estimated 40,000 Native American children participated in the Indian Placement Program from the late 1940s until it ended around 2000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Stina Sieg was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2013 to 2018.